Archive of ‘Nightlife’ category

Why Bossier’s hot pool lounge is your next getaway

dare pool view2

Hola, chickadees! I just returned from a terrific girlfriend’s getaway at Horseshoe Casino Bossier City, which was highlighted by visits to the destination’s luxe pool lounge, Dare Dayclub. If you’re up for end-of-summer travel this month or next, you should consider investing a weekend in Louisiana to check out this hot outdoor lounge! Whether it’s a girlfriend’s getaway like I had, a romantic jaunt or just a road trip with your party posse (Shreveport/Bossier is just about three hours away), you can build the ideal visit due east. Here’s five reasons my stay was superb and yours can be, too:

1. The Dallas douche factor at this lounge is nonexistent.
I love Dallas. You know this by my blog name. But Dallas clubs attract a certain inescapable $30,000 millionaire situation. Thankfully, as you’re scanning the scene at Dare — packed as it is with a good number of visiting Dallasites — you’ll notice the folks in the cabanas and in lounge chairs are having a genuinely good time, focusing on their friends, dancing and enjoying the pool, as opposed to glowering and posing with their bottle of Ciroc. And that makes for a convivial party atmosphere.

2. The pool is actually swimmable!
Unlike the pool lounges I’ve found in Dallas, Dare’s pool is 4 feet deep, which makes swimming and contented floating possible and terrific (you’ll have to practice your dive technique elsewhere, alas). And the club throws in fun floatables like beach balls and inflatable sharks. Sweet!

dare cabana

3. There’s plenty to do away from your cabana.
In what was the perfect luxury travel touch, me and the gals were treated to fabulous massages at the Horseshoe’s peaceful on-site spa, Indulge, which also has facials and a slate of salon services on its menu. Plus, hello — the casino is right there. If you’re like me, you’ll hit the quarter slots and the poker room!

4. The music at Dare slays.
The DJ who held court the Saturday my group was there played a killer mix of pop hits, throwback hip-hop and serious R&B grooves. We couldn’t keep to our seats.

5. Drinks and eats at the pool are reasonable.
Costs for bottles of liquor are a nice change of pace from Dallas’ markups. A bottle of Grey Goose is way less than $300, whereas we’ve never seen it less than $400 in Big D clubs. And if you’re gonna get your drank on, it’s a better bet than ordering individual cups from the bar. As for eats, a fine shrimp cocktail and a couple California rolls will set you back way less than $30, and are delicious fuel for heading back to the pool!

four winds food collage

Bonus: Drinks and eats at the Horseshoe restaurants are damn delish!
We stuffed our faces at both Four Winds, a high-end, pan-Asian restaurant, and at Jack Binion’s Steakhouse, a palace of meat and seafood. There’s a taste of our spread at Four Winds above. Crab rangoon, the best fried rice evah, Peking duck, orange scallops, and shrimp in lobster sauce were among the highlights.

jack binion food collage

From our spread at Jack Binion’s, seafood was the thang: Gigantic crab legs, marinated crab claws, escargots, fried crab claws and shrimp cocktail were some standouts. Another was our joyous and personable server, Jarvis, seen here with our generous selection of desserts …

binion jarvis

What a charmer! He took great care of us and peppered our evening with great conversation. All in all, he helped make this a wonderful weekend at the Horseshoe.

And hey — the long weekend’s just begun — you still have time to travel east for a phenomenal time at the Horseshoe!

[Disclosure: The Horseshoe Casino Bossier City provided my accommodations, dining and cabana rental during my visit. But these opinions are all mine!]

A first-timer’s view of Margarita Meltdown

By Steve Mohundro via

By Steve Mohundro via

Here’s a recap of the scene from Sunday’s rainy Margarita Meltdown from my friend and blog-curious writer, Josue Alva. Thanks a mil for braving the weather, Josue!

By Josue Alva

As dark clouds loomed over the city of Dallas and, with them, the roaring sounds of thunder and the sight of lightning, it was just a matter of time before rain came to ruin everyone’s pool time, grilling fun and boat parties. But over in Bishop Arts, there was a something happening that no rainstorm could stop: this year’s Margarita Madness.

No self-respecting Dallasite would dare miss an opportunity to imbibe competing concoctions from dozens of local restaurants, vote on them and help crown the winner just because the clouds outside made it look more like midnight instead of 4 p.m.

As I meandered through more than 30 restaurants’ samples of mouthwatering margarita madness with my tasting card, those pesky clouds brought a cool breeze, but soon the rain began. Few sought cover, but the true tequilaphiles – those who felt the rain and mentally transported to a pool party serving up endless flavors of margarita – stayed the course and continued on with sounds from DJ Tony Fernandez helping us in our journey.

margarita meltdown 2014

There were so many options before me. Some were too spicy (habanero-infused) some were too sweet, some were memorable like the Angry Granny margarita at Mexican Sugar, which tasted like a spicy apple pie (second place for me). But only one would steal my heart: Veracruz Café served two different samples, a dessert-like peanut butter margarita, which was my absolute favorite (but that might be because I really love peanut butter and I was a bit hungry – either way, my favorite), and a carrot margarita that I found to be interestingly good (third place in my book).

I finished my Tour de Tequilaville around the same time the margaritas began to work their magic on the crowd, which went from being eager samplers to happy-faced dancers. As the evening ended, the tally from the text-messaged votes where counted and ready to be presented. The crowd’s fingers had spoken, and the title and honor of national champion (the nation in this scenario being the DFW area) went to Asador Restaurant’s Pineapple Mint Snow Cone margarita. They had a friendly staff pouring the drinks and made their booth unforgettable, with a summery theme. Good job, Asador.

The minds behind the Dallas Margarita Meltdown created a gem of an event – a way to get a great mix of people to enjoy a fun afternoon and discover new tastes from local restaurants and gyrate their bodies to both old-school music and new tunes in unison. The participating restaurants each brought a fun and unique spin on the margarita, and I would say they are each worth visiting for cocktail sampling.
Until next year, margarita lovers!

Get discounted tickets to Iron Fork


Iron Fork, the annual food festival and head-to-head chef competition, is back and slated for a May 7 run at party venue 333 First Avenue.

As in years past, attendees will get to stroll from table to table sampling bites from some of the best restaurants around, as well as sips of wine, beer and spirits/cocktails. All the while, the strains of live music will provide the soundtrack to the evening, which will culminate in the chef competition. Two chefs are each provided with a basket of foodie goodies, including one mystery ingredient, with which they must whip up a delicious plate of food. While they’re crafting the perfect dish, celebrity chef Kent Rathbun moderates the proceedings, always adding his usual color and humor to the affair. It’s yet to be announced who will go up against last year’s winner, Matt McCallister, but they sure will have their work cut out for them!

Presale tickets are now on sale for the 7 to 10 p.m. event, and — lucky for you, my chickadees — I have a handy promo code for you to use to snag a discount! Enter dallasdiva into the promo code space, and you’ll snag $30 general admission and $60 VIP tickets (which includes entry an hour before GA and valet parking). For now, that’s a savings of $5 off early bird tix, but considering that day-of entry is $55 for GA and $90 for VIP, if they’re even available, I say it’s best to get on the good foot and snag your tickets now! The presale period ends this Saturday, March 30, so get to it.

Meet my Bloody Mary ‘Mirror,’ courtesy of Stoli and SER!


When Stoli challenged me to come up with a Bloody Mary “mirror” – a cocktail that reflected me, moi, myself – I was flattered. The premium vodka label made it clear the drink could either look like me physically (tres impossible, methinks, because have you seen me?! Wink!) or highlight a component(s) of my personality.

Well, being a foodie and knowing that there are all kinds of crazy garnishes for Bloody Marys, I decided to have my Bloody Mary Mirror highlight my epicurean side. To that end, the first thought that came to mind were tater tots – never seen those on a Bloody Mary! And when I think tater tots, I think of the wonderful, delicately fried housemade lovelies served at SER, the steakhouse atop the Hilton Anatole. These babies are my fave – lightly crisp on the outside with tender shreds of potato inside. Mmmm!

Happily, SER also has a slate of Stoli flavors on hand, and at the bar, Nina fixed up a beautiful Bloody Mary just the way I (have come to) like it: spicy, not too thick, with a beefy Worcestershire sauce undertone and a salt-free rim. I liked how the squeeze of lime she added came through subtly, too – very nice! She asked for my choice of skewer to show off the taters and rested it gently on the glass – voila!


In case you’re wanting to try this at home, get your tots ready and whip this up:

4 oz. Tomato Juice
2 oz. Stoli Vodka
2 dashes of Worchestershire sauce
2 dashes of Tabasco
Sriracha to taste (we likes it spicy!)
A squeeze of lime
2 or 3 baked or fried tator tots

Add tomato juice, Stoli, Worcestershire, Tabasco, sriracha and squeeze of lime into a glass and pour back and forth between another glass. Serve with a lime wedge and tater tots on a skewer.

This Bloody Mary perfectly reflects me because it’s got a luxe component (Stoli), the food component, and it’s spicy, hearty and a little bit tart. Poyfect!

Meantime, snag some components for a sublime Bloody Mary at the next stops of Stoli’s #SearchForMary mobile trucks. Tomorrow and Friday they’ll be the Sigel’s at 5757 Greenville Ave. from 1 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, they’ll be at The Foundry in Oak Cliff from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, they’ll pull a double-header, at East Dallas’ Vickery Park from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then at Lower Greenville’s The Dubliner from 4 to 7:30 p.m. You can grab cocktail fixins from the truck then mosey on into the bars for the actual drink. Just don’t try to hail the Stoli #SearchForMary trucks like I almost did the other day when I spotted it at a gas station – this ain’t a cab 😉

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Stoli, with whom I’m partnering on the Search for Mary for paid reimbursement. I wouldn’t work with a brand I didn’t love, though, and I heart Stoli so! Savor Stoli Responsibly. STOLICHNAYA® Premium Vodka. 40% Alc/Vol. Distilled from grain. William Grant &Sons, Inc. New York, NY. © 2013 Spirits International, B.V.]

Thanks, Dallas!


So this happened last night … not just me posing with a drunk werewolf!

The People’s Last Halloween went down last night at the People’s Last Stand, and it was a tremendous time! The Mockingbird Station bar was packed with costumed revelers, enjoying complimentary eats and ghoulishly good drinks and grooving to DJ Blake Ward’s phenomenal set of spooky-themed music. One gal even performed all the steps to MJ’s “Thriller” dance!

Overall, it was an epic time, and I’m happy about all my chickadees who came out to support and have a blast. Thanks and much love to you all … XOXO

Spend an evening in ‘Clybourne Park’

Tiffany Hobbs, Hassan El-Amin and Sally-Nystuen Vahle in 'Clybourne Park.' Photo by Karen Almond

Tiffany Hobbs, Hassan El-Amin and Sally-Nystuen Vahle in ‘Clybourne Park.’ Photo by Karen Almond

The Dallas Theater Center‘s latest play, Clybourne Park, is a time-traveling commentary on class, race and how they divide even neighbors over the span of 50 years.

The Clybourne Park in the title is a Chicago neighborhood that in Act 1 is an all-white enclave where middle-aged couple Bev and Russ live in the tight-lipped domesticity of the ’50s. We learn that the couple is selling their home … and then later we learn they’re selling it to what would be the neighborhood’s first black family. We watch as the repercussions of their decision ripple through their friendships and even in their relationship with their maid Francine, who is black, and it’s here that the actors come alive. Sally Nystuen Vahle as Bev exemplifies the sweet exterior-with-a-seething-interior XXSXXX we’ve come to identify as a fact of life in the ’50s. Vahle delivers a measured and assured performance and veers from mild to tortured to mild with a veteran’s deftness. Chamblee Ferguson as Russ isn’t asked to keep as much emotion under the surface and emits it with thunder.

Allison Pistorius and Steven Michael Walters. Photo by Karen Almond

Allison Pistorius and Steven Michael Walters. Photo by Karen Almond

The play’s second act fast-forwards to the same Clybourne Park home in 2009, well after the neighborhood has become predominantly black and is undergoing gentrification, i.e., the return of white residents. A young white couple seeks to buy the house and in the process of trying to renovate the now historical home ignites a war of words with the black couple that has ties to the building. In this act, piquant performances by Allison Pistorius, Steven Michael Walters and Tiffany Hobbs light up the stage, their tart exchanges revealing reliances on stereotypes, accusations of racism and … howling, armor-piercing jokes.

The parties don’t quite work out their differences in the end, but Clybourne Park’s success is in getting touchy topics out of the bag and into the public conversation. Winning performances make it an enjoyable one.

(Pssst! In a fascinating pairing, DTC is showing Raisin in the Sun in repertory during Clybourne‘s run. It’s a perfect companion piece, in also dealing with neighborhood integration in a ’50s suburb. Learn more here.)

‘Clybourne Park’ by Dallas Theater Center
Wyly Theatre through Oct. 27.
Get tickets here.

How Chevy drove me to heaven …

Chevy sportsters

This past week, I was invited to test-drive a number of Chevrolet’s hot new models at the State Fair, and, let me tell you, chickadees, I vroomed my way straight into nirvana! It was like that scene out of Grease where Sandy and Danny drive off into the sky … more on that in a bit.


Halloween thrills with The Diva and CultureMap!


I’m pleased as pumpkin pie to announce that the fun and freaky folks at Mockingbird Station have asked me to co-host a Halloween party at one of my FAVORITE bars, The People’s Last Stand!

On Oct. 30 at 8 p.m., moi and CultureMap Dallas nightlife editor Jonathon Rienstra will welcome ghouls and goblins of the night of sips, snacks and supreme scares! There’ll be prizes for the best costumes, so whip out your best gear and dress to impress! Too, we’ll be handing out two drink tickets for all guests, and complimentary bites will be available — so far, this is win-win territory, chickadees.

The screens behind the bar will be showing horror flicks AND DJ Blake Ward will be in the house spinning up a musical storm. The bestest part? All this is free and open to the public (21 and up, of course)! I really, truly hope to see you there — do stop by and say hi. Not sure what costume I’ll be going for, but I always love the flapper look. Oooh, or perhaps I’ll get dolled up like Joan on Mad Men. Hmmmm, so much to choose from. You’d do well to choose fabulously to contend for one of the prizes. Whatever you decide, I hope to see you on Oct. 30! Make sure to RSVP at the event’s Facebook page here.

GODIVA’s Truffle Flights rocked my world!

Our dreamy Truffle Takeoff tour guide, Micah, was as luscious as the treats, ha!

Our Truffle Takeoff tour guide, Micah, was as luscious as the treats, ha!

Last night, Klyde Warren Park came alive with the sights and sounds of pure ecstasy. NO, it was not from the Decks in the Park DJ party — but moans, oohs and ahhs of delight from moi and my fans, friends and followers who joined GODIVA‘s Truffle Takeoff VIP tasting.

As previously stated, I am no chocoholic. As you regular readers will know, I’m not even a big fan of sweets in general. But, boy, oh, boy, did GODIVA make my heart melt with some candied fabulousness.


With our Truffle Takeoff pilot Micah, we were treated to the Dark Decadence Truffle Flight that contained: Dark Vanilla Mousse, Chocolate Soufflé, 50% Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Lava Cake, 72% Extra Dark Chocolate and Aztec Spice truffles. From left to right, each bite got increasingly richer and more heavenly. My absolute favorite was the 50% Dark Chocolate, as it wasn’t too dark and had a sinfully melty interior I let luxuriate on my tongue. Yowrrrmm. Micah rightly suggested we just take one bite of each nugget and save the other bite for later — richness is spades! He even offered some wine pairing ideas, saying that the lighter truffles would pair well with a light pinot grigio with the heavier ones marrying nicely with a big red or dry sauvignon blanc, for example. Mmmm …


As you can see, my chickadees who attended enjoyed their truffle-tacular experience, and it was so lovely to enjoy the flight with them. Big, huge, creamy, melty thanks to GODIVA for making it all happen — check out more pics from our event here.

This post was created in partnership with GODIVA Chocolatier, which provided me with product and compensation for this post; however this post is based on my own experience and opinion, and I wouldn’t host or endorse anything I don’t like or respect!

Chinese Lantern Festival = My fountain of youth


Last night, I had the chance to enjoy a preview party at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park — what a wonder! I could go on and on (and ON!) about how breathtakingly beautiful it was, but I think it’s best to let you have a glimpse of all the magic and majesty that’s awaiting you. Suffice it to say, however, that I felt like a 7-year-old, even going so far as to skip from highlight to highlight — yes! I was, all, “Ooooh, ahhh, LIGHTS!” Should go without saying that I highly recommend you to visit! Just make sure to take a gander at the map; had we not looked around certain corners, TechGod and I would’ve missed out on some fantastic scenery.

The lantern fest opens to the public tomorrow, Sept. 27, and runs through Jan. 5. Definitely read up on how to get tickets before you go, here. For now, check out the slide show!

[portfolio_slideshow id=8200]

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